Differential Fairness Decisions and Brain Responses After Expressed Emotions of Others in Boys with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Eduard T. Klapwijk*, Moji Aghajani, Gert Jan Lelieveld, Natasja D.J. van Lang, Arne Popma, Nic J.A. van der Wee, Olivier F. Colins, Robert R.J.M. Vermeiren

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Little is known about how emotions expressed by others influence social decisions and associated brain responses in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). We investigated the neural mechanisms underlying fairness decisions in response to explicitly expressed emotions of others in boys with ASD and typically developing (TD) boys. Participants with ASD adjusted their allocation behavior in response to the emotions but reacted less unfair than TD controls in response to happiness. We also found reduced brain responses in the precental gyrus in the ASD versus TD group when receiving happy versus angry reactions and autistic traits were positively associated with activity in the postcentral gyrus. These results provide indications for a role of precentral and postcentral gyrus in social-affective difficulties in ASD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2390-2400
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017

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